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adding in bear mangle to our rotation

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adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby littlebearz » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:09 pm

i was doing a little bit of testing and i think it is possible that under certain situations to use bear mangle as a dps boost.

A few pieces of info
-cat energy regen continues even when you are in bear.
-the rotation of bear form to mangle and back to cat takes 4 seconds (1.5 from bear form, 1.5 from mangle, 1.0 from cat)
--In this time, you can regen between 40 (no haste) to possibably up to 70 (with haste reforge, lust, raid buffs, and starcaller trinket)
-without 3/3 in furor, you do not have a 100% chance to go into bear with rage. additionally, with 3/3 in furor you negate the chance that you will stop your cat regen while still in bear.
-furor will only generate 10 rage, so to get to 15 you will either need to auto attack, enrage, or get damaged.
-bear enrage has no GCD, so if it is off cooldown, there is a 100% chance you will have enough rage for mangle, with 28 left over
-Maul has no GCD
-bear farie fire does damage while cat farie fire does not. it also has a 1.0 second GCD.
-you will be in bear for a total of 3 seconds. knowing a 0 haste feral had a bear swing timer of 2.5 seconds, you are guarenteed to get a melee hit in that time. add the excess rage you have from enrage, and you will have 30 or more rage, enough to maul before going back into cat
-bear auto attacks do not benifit from savage roar
-shifting into bear does not remove savage roar
-savage defence can proc while in bear, but shifting back into cat removes this buff.
-clearcasting can proc from your bear auto attack. if it does, it makes maul a waste to use it on.
-all abbilities used in bear generate much more threat. with a good tank this shouldnt be a problem.

onto the numbers
(note: all of these numbers were found on a target dummy self buffed)
-with savage roar, cat auto attack dps is 5.6k, while bear is 3k
-bear mangle hits for 13.4k with enrage (26.8k crit)
-bear maul hits for 5.5k with enrage (11k crit)
-bear farie fire hits for 5.4k with enrage (7.8k crit)

I know its probably a small dps increase, if any at all. but it seems like cats in 4.3 need all the help they can get :)

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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby Paramount » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:32 am

A few thoughts on what else would need to be taken into consideration to properly evaluate this:

1) Toying with this in game it seems as though both shifts activate a 1.5 second GCD
2) The shift from bear back into kitty happens instantly upon activation, meaning only 3 seconds out of kitty form and therefore never hindering energy regen with 2/3 Furor
3) Time spent in bear form decreases opportunities to proc OoC, albeit only slightly, but worth considering since clearcasted abilities are a massive chunk of our dps and who doesn't just freaking LOVE free CPs and infinite DPE?
4) If you're only planning to do this once per minute when Enrage is up then it won't be worth it as the DPS gain will be very slight should it prove to be a gain at all
5) If you try to do it when Enrage isn't up you risk waiting up to 2.49 seconds before you can Mangle, pushing the rest of the timeline back 1 second while potentially decreasing the opportunities to Maul, as well as losing the 15% added damage
6) I'm starting to think the point is moot when you consider the fact that a macro like:

/showtooltip Thorns
/cast [@tankname] Thorns


followed by an immediate shift back into kitty would probably result in a higher net gain for the raid as a whole. I could be wrong but I actually think I'm going to go ahead and drag that macro out onto my bars. I see virtually no reason why any Feral with the presence of mind to make a mid-fight

Run Out -> Feral Charge -> Ravage!

into a DPS gain instead of a loss couldn't easily toss thorns on a tank while losing next to nothing themselves.
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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby Stenhaldi » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:14 am

The autoattack timer doesn't reset when you shift, so actually if you're shifting from cat to bear you are guaranteed to perform a bear autoattack within the next second.

(Conversely, this also raises the number of lost cat form autoattacks - the first autoattack may occur up to 2.5 seconds after switching back to cat form.)

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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby mineko » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:10 am

I'm sorry, this may be a little off topic, but holy crap, you know your spec's broken in a bad way when you consider something as silly as switching to bear for a split second in order to increase dps.

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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby Paramount » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:05 am

Not really. Considering every plausible possibility is done by people of every class and spec. That's why bear tanks in BC would pull with Moonfire, why (pro) kitties in wrath would cast Gift of the Wild 10 times in one fight, or why I still use Flame Caps on my fire mage to this day. Min/maxing is a way of life.

Although our spec is a little broken.
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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby mineko » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:00 am

I remember back in TBC I had a powershifting macro I would spam to get energy back since Furor actually gave you energy.
For a brief period of Wrath I would cast Nature's Grasp on myself since it had a very slight chance to proc clearcasting if you got hit.
For most of Cataclysm, I ran out every Feral Charge cooldown to use the free Ravage, which was the stupidest gimmick to date.

And still this newest technique seems the most silly of them all.

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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby Stenhaldi » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:04 am

On the original topic, this is something I've occasionally considered since tier 7 but for some reason I never really did a detailed analysis. Up until last summer it would have been fairly situational due to threat but now threat is virtually a non-issue. Let me therefore attempt to gauge the value of this action.

Let h be our haste, including raid buff. Let c be our crit chance in bear form (typically about 5% less than cat form, due to master shapeshifter and leather specialization).

The cat form swing timer (in seconds) is 1/(1+h), while the bear form swing timer is 2.5/(1+h). We spend 3 seconds in bear form: 1.5 seconds each for the bear form GCD and the mangle GCD (note that we never need to delay mangle since 1/(1+h) < 1.5). Suppose we shift to bear form with time t (in seconds) left on the cat form swing timer; note 0 < t < 1/(1+h). Then 3-t is the time available for bear form swings while 2.5n/(1+h) is the time required to perform n+1 such swings. This means that if 2.5(n-1)/(1+h) < 3-t < 2.5n/(1+h) then we will get n bear form swings. In particular, note that n=1 is only possible for h < 1/6 (<6.1% unbuffed haste), while n=3 is only possible for h > 2/3 (>51.5% unbuffed haste without bloodlust or >16.6% unbuffed haste with bloodlust). Therefore I will assume n=2: we get 2 bear form swings.

I assume 3/3 furor, so we start with 10 rage. Each bear swing generates 16 rage and another 5 on a crit (from primal fury). If mangle crits it will also generate 5 rage. I will assume no rage is generated from damage taken. We now have 42+5r rage available in total or 27+5r rage available for maul, where r is the number of crits in 3 attacks (2 swings and a mangle). If r > 0 then maul is available, so we have a 1-(1-c)^3 chance to have maul available.

Let us now consider clearcasts. If I recall correctly the clearcast chance is normalized against weapon speed at 3.5 procs per minute, so each cat form swing has a 3.5/60 chance and each bear form swing has a 3.5/24 chance to trigger clearcasting.

If a clearcast triggers on the cat swing immediate prior to shifting, I will assume we fail to react to it in time and still shift to bear. However, it is not worth spending this clearcast on a bear mangle so we should abort and shift back to cat. The probability of this happening is 3.5/60 ~ 5.8%, and when it happens the net effect is that we lose 2.5 cat swings and gain 1 bear swing. Furthermore, that bear swing cannot trigger clearcasting (since it's already up).

If a clearcast triggers on the first bear swing, I will similarly assume that we fail to react to it in time and still mangle. This clearcast is therefore lost, so effectively the first bear swing cannot trigger a clearcast.

If a clearcast triggers on the second bear swing, there is the possibility that we might waste it with maul. If it's impossible to react to this clearcast then it's actually probably not worth using maul at all, so let us consider how much time we have to react. Assume maul is used immediately prior to shifting back to cat: there's no reason to use it earlier since it's off the GCD. The second swing occurs at time t+2.5/(1+h) into bear form with t as defined earlier, which means we have between 3-2.5/(1+h) and 3-3.5/(1+h) seconds to react. At a comparatively large value h = 0.3 (~18.2% unbuffed haste) we have between 1.03 and 0.24 seconds to react. This is not a lot of time, and at lower haste values it only becomes worse. One may make some assumptions about reaction time and thereby estimate the probability of wasting a clearcast with this maul, but instead I will simply assume that we do not use maul.

Let
s = cat form swing damage,
S = bear form swing damage,
m = cat form clearcast damage value (typically 1 shred, but one may also wish to include the value of the combo points),
M = bear form mangle damage.

The progression is now as follows:

We have a 3.5/60 chance to abort, in which case we lose 2.5 cat swings (each of which would have had a 3.5/60 chance to trigger clearcasting) and gain 1 bear swing (which cannot trigger clearcasting), so the net gain is S-2.5s-2.5*3.5/60*m (which is negative).

Otherwise we proceed. We lose 5 cat swings (each with 3.5/60 chance to trigger clearcasting) and gain 2 bear swings, where only the second bear swing can trigger clearcasting (3.5/24 chance). We also gain a bear mangle. The net gain is therefore 2S-5s+M+(3.5/24-5*3.5/60)m = 2S-5s+M-3.5/24*m.

Overall, the net gain is 3.5/60(S-2.5s-3.5/24*m)+(1-3.5/60)(2S-5s+M-3.5/24*m). Simplified, this is roughly 1.94S-4.85s+0.942M-0.146m.

Let me try some sample values of
s = 6.9k (4.8k with 24% glance and 47% crit)
S = 8.9k (6.4k with 24% glance and 42% crit)
m = 34.5k (23k with 47% crit, neglecting combo points)
M = 21.7k (15k with 42% crit)

These are pretty close to my own unbuffed values (before armor). Then the net gain is roughly -0.8k (a loss).

Some possible improvements:
  • I have assumed we do not use enrage. Obviously, with enrage all bear form damage is increased by 15%. Additionally the extra rage means maul can be used before the second swing, which allows it to be used without risk of wasting the second swing's clearcast. But enrage is only available once per minute.
  • If it is actually possible to use maul without always wasting the second swing's clearcast, then it is probably a slight gain to do so.
  • It should sometimes be possible to abort the mangle if the first bear form swing triggers a clearcast, depending on timing.
  • In the case where the mangle consumes a clearcast, depending on crits it is likely (specifically there is a 1-(1-c)^2 chance) that maul will be available before the second swing, in which case it can be used without risk of wasting a clearcast.

Also note that on Ultraxion, m is suppressed (since shred is unusable) and M is boosted (since mangle is glyphed), which may substantially raise the net damage gain.

Some further effects that I have neglected:
  • Fury swipes. This is actually more powerful in bear form than cat form due to its internal cooldown, so it would be a slight damage gain.
  • Vial of shadows. The proc itself is only marginally weaker in bear form than cat form, but the slower attack rate means bear form might also delay a proc. This would be a marginal damage loss.
  • If we are taking damage then we may gain some vengeance.

Edit: Refined the estimate slightly. Aborting also causes a small loss of clearcasts.
Last edited by Stenhaldi on Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:06 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby Stenhaldi » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:47 am

Also, if we're going to list all the surprising things we've done to push a little more damage... (not all of these are things I did personally, though most are)
  • Powershifting in Burning Crusade. Actually I hesitate to list this because it was a completely standard part of the rotation at the time.
  • Wolfshead Helm powershifting in WotLK (before Blizzard broke it).
  • Weightstones were still usable on WotLK-level weapons for a time even when weapon oils and sharpening stones were no longer usable.
  • Nature's grasp for the small clearcast chance.
  • Gift of the wild in 25-player raids for the near unit chance of triggering a clearcast, especially for use with swipe.
  • Predator's swiftness wrath for the small damage and large clearcast chance. In WotLK there was a bug or undocumented feature where a spell cast with predator's swiftness had a very high chance to trigger clearcasting (something like 60-70%).
  • Spamming elixir of the sages when it gave 180 energy. That bug didn't last long.
  • Feral charge/ravage, but I also hesitate to list this for its normality.
  • Combining savage leather scraps for clearcasts. Unfortunately not really practical due to the enormous number of scraps you need for even just a few clearcasts.

But I'm sure you can come up with similar lists for most classes.

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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby Sibylle » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:33 am

Stenhaldi wrote:
  • Combining savage leather scraps for clearcasts. Unfortunately not really practical due to the enormous number of scraps you need for even just a few clearcasts.

Come again?? :lol: Never heard of this one. How does it work, would you create Savage Leathers in combat?
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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby Stenhaldi » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:28 pm

I don't know if it works anymore but the "use" on savage leather scraps used to have a chance to trigger clearcasting.

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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby Paramount » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:22 pm

@Stenhaldi:

The only issue I've noticed with your math is that you've only considered OoC probabilities from auto attacks and not special attacks. It really wouldn't alter very much, though. You would have to double the chance of instantly aborting since you are going to dump as much energy as you can directly before you shift, which more or less means you'll have a yellow swing at the same time as your last kitty form auto swing. The rest of the clearcasts should about break even assuming 2 bear swings, bear mangle and maul would be 4 attacks within the 3 second window. I personally have an unbuffed swing timer of 0.85 seconds which drops to roughly 0.75 with Icy Talons, and that would yield precisely 4 swings in the same 3 second window. The only difference should be, as you've already pointed out, the instances which our reaction to a proc isn't quick enough to prevent us from wasting it on a bear mangle or maul.

While I enjoy the math personally, when taking everything into account and assuming you only attempt this under ideal circumstances, the increase is still much too marginal to be practical. Even if you don't lose any energy and break even on clearcasts you are still depriving yourself the resource of your GCD, which could delay your rebirth, tranquility, stampeding roar or whatever other function you might be called upon to perform.
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Re: adding in bear mangle to our rotation

Postby Stenhaldi » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:21 pm

Special attacks don't trigger clearcasting. This has been true since 3.0, but if you want to test it, you can put a training dummy on focus (without targeting it) and spam /cast [@focus] Shred. The autoattack won't start without a target and you'll never trigger a clearcast.

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